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BLOG: Chiarelli feels team is improved

by Chris Wescott / Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers aren’t done looking for ways to improve their roster, but they did conclude their free agency spending on day one feeling much better about the state of the team.

Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli patched a big hole on defence by adding defenceman Adam Larsson via trade before free agency opened. On Friday, the Oilers added a top-line winger in Milan Lucic to help fill the void left by Taylor Hall’s exit in the Larsson trade. Chiarelli also added backup goalie competition by signing Jonas Gustavsson, and some physical blueline depth for the farm with Mark Fraser.

“We’ve improved our team significantly,” said Chiarelli. “We’ve added what I assess as a top defenceman. He’s going to be a two at some point, Larsson. We’ve added Milan Lucic, who is going to help lead this team. He’s going to play a physical style of hockey, he’s going to score, he’s got a really nice set of hands. We lost a really good player, Taylor, and who was a real significant part of this team but I feel we improved by the style of player we’ve brought in and the approach to the game.”

As for adding another defenceman or making another move, that may come down the road.

“I’m really happy with what we’ve done the last few days,” said Chiarelli. “I’m gonna let the dust settle a little bit before we go out looking again. But really happy with what we’ve done. There’s been some change and some attitude change based on what we’ve done and, at this point and time, I’m quite satisfied.”

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